Category Archives: Patient Engagement

What Moves Us To Act?

Originally posted June 23, 2015

By Susan Brown

I usually start my day with a Starbucks, so I was standing in the long line-up waiting to place my order. I noticed a young resident, well ahead of me in the line, pull out of the line. He grabbed a fistful of serviettes from the sidebar where the milk and sugar, lids and serviettes are found. He walked over to a middle-aged woman who was on her cell–she was sobbing inconsolably and her face was red and puffy, she had big sad tears strolling down her face. This young resident walked over and bent down as if to kneel. He put the serviettes into her lap and paused his hand on hers when she went to grab the serviettes. He looked into her eyes, paused and provided a look of acknowledgement, empathy and kindness. Then he walked back to the end of the coffee line … Many of us had witnessed this spontaneous act of genuine compassion and kindness and made way for him to move to the front of the line.

What moved this young resident to act? Or perhaps more importantly, what was it about him that saw his distraught woman and respond in such a caring and compassionate way? It was beautiful to see the tension in her face ease when he gave her the serviettes and demonstrated empathy. It was beautiful to see how other staff members in the Starbucks line watched the interaction and then volleyed him back up to the front of the line on his return. And it was beautiful to see how moved each of us was by this simple act of grace. The importance of staff-to-patient and staff-to-staff relationships were underscored. I’d like to think each of us here would do this if the same situation presented … I suppose the question is whether each of us sees these things when they are in our midst; does our culture empower us to act? Are we safe to reach out to one another and to our patients?

“Healing Beyond Science”

By Robert Folberg, MD

The title of this post is framed within quotation marks because the words are not mine. They were delivered by Mary Fisher, an author, artist, and AIDS advocate on the occasion of receiving an honorary degree as part of the commencement of the Charter Class of 2015 from the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB). Wing of Zock invited me to provide a follow-up to my post published earlier this year, “Kindness Beyond Curriculum,” where I described the underlying innovations that OUWB brings to medical education as a new medical school. I invite you now to pause and listen to Fisher’s address. [Fast forward to the 4:40 mark to skip the conferral of the degree if you wish.] Continue reading “Healing Beyond Science”

Quick Hits: Innovation in Academic Medicine

Boston Children’s Hospital Uses Social Media Data for Health Research

Social media pervades the U.S. today. Take Twitter, for example. By the end of 2014, approximately one in five U.S. adults were active Twitter users. While the network remains most popular with adults under 50 years old, the last year saw a jump in tweeters 65 and older.

Despite growing privacy concerns, users of Twitter and other networks routinely talk about their health on social media. This has created a large and growing body of data and presented an opportunity to capture ‘digital phenotypes’ that provide tremendous insight into both individual and population health. These phenotypes let us:

  1. Identify individual patients suffering from acute or chronic disease and analyze their behavior over-time
  2. Monitor the health of a population by tracking the prevalence of infectious diseases (e.g., influenza)… MORE

Duke Practical Playbook to Provide Technical Assistance to BUILD Health Challenge Awardees

The BUILD Health Challenge announced today that it awarded grants to 18 groundbreaking projects that aim to improve health in low-income communities.

The projects were recognized on the strengths of their bold, upstream, integrated, local and data-driven approaches to address the social and environmental factors that have the greatest impact on health.

The BUILD Health Challenge was founded by The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to encourage community partnerships among local non-profit organizations, hospitals and health systems, and health departments to improve the health and well-being of their residents… MORE

Stanford Medicine to Lead, Define Field of Precision Health

Precision health was the theme of the day at Stanford [two weeks ago], with Dean Lloyd Minor, MD, describing to a standing-room-only crowd at a Town Hall event how Stanford Medicine will continue to lead and excel in this area.

Minor, along with colleagues Amir Dan Rubin, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, and Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Stanford Children’s Health, offered faculty, staff and students a glimpse of the future of precision health here… MORE

Developing Apps to Improve the Health of Patients at Mount Sinai

The Sinai AppLab, a pioneering digital initiative between the departments of Medicine and Information Technology, is creating technology platforms to address the needs of patients, health care providers, and researchers within the Mount Sinai Health System. Under the direction of Ashish Atreja, MD, MPH, Chief Technology Innovation and Engagement Officer in the Department of Medicine, the lab has developed five apps and an app platform that connect to Mount Sinai’s Electronic Health Records (EHR)… MORE

 

Using Apple Research Kit for Asthma Mobile Health Study

By Jennifer Salopek

Apple launched its Research Kit on March 9, “giving medical researchers the tools to revolutionize medical studies,” according to a press release. The kit comprised five iPhone apps to gather data from participants with asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. The Asthma Health app was developed by a team at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, led by Yvonne Chan, MD, PhD, FACEP. At a presentation at the AAMC Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems meeting in Austin last month, Chan detailed the preliminary results generated by the app.

Continue reading Using Apple Research Kit for Asthma Mobile Health Study

Health Wearables and the Yeshwant Table

By Benjamin Robbins

Hundreds of people gathered in an event space in Google’s Cambridge, MA, office last month to demo the latest in health wearables and watch the final round of a health tech competition co-sponsored by Google, Anthem, MedTech Boston, and Medstro.com. The event suggests  that we may be seeing a striking evolution of fitness-oriented health wearables to devices with the potential to improve patient care.

I’ll admit that I had relatively low expectations – imagining walking into a room full of devices designed to keep already-healthy people marginally more healthy. However, when I arrived I was struck by the number of knowledgeable medical experts who had built devices that seemed like they could truly help alleviate or prevent suffering caused by disease.

Continue reading Health Wearables and the Yeshwant Table

Reinventing the Third Year of Medical School at UCSF

By Jennifer J. Salopek

In the late 1990s, the Office of Medical Education at the University of California San Francisco Medical School realized that the third-year curriculum, largely unchanged since the late 1890s, had to be transformed. Ann Poncelet, MD, who headed up the task force charged with the work, offers a dismal look back:

“Under the old apprenticeship model, we had a fragmented learning environment that offered no authentic role for students or for patients,” she says. “The result was a loss of patient-centeredness and moral erosion: Bright, skilled, empathetic doctors were not coming out the other end.”

Continue reading Reinventing the Third Year of Medical School at UCSF

Personalized Medicine, Disney Style

By Ulfat Shaikh, MD

As a pediatrician, I make it part of my personal continuing education goals to keep up with the latest in children’s entertainment. Big Hero 6, Disney’s latest animated feature film, did not disappoint. It introduced me to Baymax, a potential future health care colleague I can look up to. Continue reading Personalized Medicine, Disney Style

Instituting “Affective Time Outs” at Oregon Health & Science University

By Larissa Guran

This year, Oregon Health & Science University rolled out a new medical school curriculum for incoming first year students. “Your MD” is an innovative program, with a completely new schedule and focus; it is replacing the current curriculum, which is retiring after it serves my classmates and me. This is an exciting time to be a student at OHSU, but one of the drawbacks of this transition year is the disconnect between first- and second-year students. Our school has a strong tradition of previous classes supporting and guiding new medical students through the overwhelming experience of the first year. From our Big/Little Sib program to the Sage Books of wisdom and advice passed down to the next class, we’ve worked hard as a class to stay connected to and supportive of the new students. One way we have done it is through an elective called “Leadership, Education, and Structural Competency.”

Continue reading Instituting “Affective Time Outs” at Oregon Health & Science University